News

Featured News

Partnerships Program Funding Announcement 2019
For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

Partnerships Program Funding Announcement 2019

We were pleased to see an increase in applications for our Partnerships Program for the 2019 year, but it made it much harder to decide! Thank you to all organizations/individuals who applied.

We would like to congratulate the following organizations/individuals who will be receiving Partnerships Program Funding for 2019:

  • Terranaut Club – For their outreach project ‘Technology in Marine Conservation’ which will see 10 underrepresented High School girls from Halifax and Dartmouth attend a summer camp at Dalhousie and Acadia Universities to learn about Technology in Marine Conservation.
  • Dr. Svetlana Barkanova at Memorial University Grenfell campus – For her outreach program ‘Open Space: Engaging Teens in Western Newfoundland in Physics and Astronomy’. Partnerships funding will allow female Physics professors at Grenfell to travel to rural schools in NL, including remote First Nations communities, to present and engage with students on current topics in Physics, Astronomy, and Cosmology.
  • The Atlantic Canada Water and Wastewater Association (in partnership with Acadia University – for their project ‘Analysis and Development of Diversity and Inclusion in the Atlantic Canada Water Industry’. Funding support will assist these partners to develop and conduct a research study focusing on diversity and inclusion issues faced by ACWWA’s membership.
  • Refresh Annapolis Valley– For their ‘Build II: Computer Science Camp for Girls’ which is a week-long summer camp for 20 girls which allows them to explore the world of Computer Science. This camp aims to provide free registration for girls from underrepresented communities.

Click here for more info on our Partnerships Program funding.

Read MoreLess
STEMaware 2018
For: Students For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

STEMaware 2018

Making a career choice can be a difficult decision to make – and WISEatlantic is striving to make that decision a little easier for high-school girls interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) career paths. At WISEatlantic’s STEM Aware event October 16, 27 high-school girls learned more about the numerous opportunities that STEM fields have to offer by meeting Mount Saint Vincent University Science graduates who work in those roles. The girls had a chance to talk with role models with job titles ranging from ‘Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist’ to ‘Registered Dietitian.’

 

Lottie Pascal, a Grade 11 student at Prince Andrew High School, left at the end of the night with a greater understanding of careers she’d never thought of as an option.

“I was really interested in learning about new careers that I might not have considered before: so, for example, stem cell research is not necessarily something that I would have considered before tonight but it definitely peaked my interest,” Lottie said. “If you aren’t too sure about what you want to do and you have an idea of a general field, this really expands your horizons of possible jobs.”

Grade 10 student Rahaf Abu Baker was another attendee who left with a new perspective. “I came to learn and see if I really want to do dentistry or something else – just to open my mind,” Rahaf said, “I thought of university as being a doctor, teacher, engineer, and other jobs like that, but now I know more. There are way more options than I thought there would be.”

The event was an important way for the role models who volunteered their time to meet with the girls to fill a gap they wish had been acknowledged when they were in high school.

Lauren Harrie, a role model at the event, graduated from the Mount with a Bachelor of Science and works as a Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. She says that when you’re in high school, it’s hard to know about all the roles available in STEM because there are many that no one talks about.

“It’s tough to know which different niche areas there are in different concentrations. You hear about the popular, really well-known jobs but there are so many areas that you could go towards,” Lauren says, “I didn’t know a career as a Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist existed while I was doing my Bachelor of Science, so initially this isn’t a career I would’ve imagined myself in – but now that I’m in this field I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Tanya Cole was another of the role models who volunteered her time to meet with the girls. She works as a Registered Dietitian in long-term care, but didn’t discover her current career path in dietetics until she had already begun studying business at university. She switched to MSVU’s Applied Human Nutrition program after learning it was an option.

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do coming out of high-school, and I felt like there wasn’t a lot of opportunities to learn about different careers,” Tanya said. “To be able to have a conversation with somebody, ask questions and find out more about what they did – I think that would have been tremendously helpful to me in high-school.”

This year marked the STEM Aware event’s second anniversary, and it’s an event that NSERC Chair WISEatlantic, Tamara Franz-Odendaal, hopes will continue to grow and builds on from our already highly successful activities for girls in junior high.

“By exposing girls to careers they have never heard of before and by providing them with opportunities to meet local women in these STEM careers, we can help to ensure that the girls will make career choices that are the best fit for themselves. In this way, we are reaching our goal of breaking STEM stereotypes for girls in our region”

In future years, this event will continue to provide girls like Lottie and Rahaf with new perspectives on what a career in STEM fields could look like, and give them a solid foundation on which to make post-secondary and career decisions. But Lauren Harrie wants anyone still worried about their future to remember that their decisions aren’t always as final as they think.

“It’s not an end point ever – you can get to one spot and see what other options are available at that point so I think it’s always constant learning,” Lauren says, “I would encourage anyone to go towards the paths where they see themselves and it’s amazing the sorts of opportunities that will blossom from there.”

A message to our role models:

A huge thank-you goes out to all the role models who make the STEM Aware event possible each year! This year, we’d like to give a special thank-you to the following Mount graduates who spent time talking with attendees and answering their questions:

  • Cynthia Johnston, Quality Leader at the Regional Tissue Bank
  • Erica Fraser, Microbrewer and Biology Lab Instructor
  • Tanya Cole, Registered Dietitian
  • Lauren Harrie, Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist
  • Frank MacDonald, Family Physician
  • Alyssa Doue, Chemistry Lab Instructor

Written by Emily Albert, WISEatlantic Volunteer and Mount student.

Read MoreLess
Out of This World!
For: Students For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

Out of This World!

We were excited to participate in Science Literacy Week again this year with our event Out of This World! Explore Space with Local Scientists.

As the theme of Science Literacy week this year was Space, we decided to host an event that showcased the space-related research happening right here in Atlantic Canada! Our event featured Dr. Svetlana Barkanova, a Physicist at Memorial University Grenfell Campus, who spoke about her research into Dark Matter; Astrophysicist Dr. Catherine Lovekin who detailed her research who focuses on the structure and evolution of massive starts; and WISEatlantic Chair, Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, who discussed her research on bone development of Zebrafish in a microgravity environment. The event was hosted at Woodlawn Public Library to a very engaged and curious audience of over 50 people.

We would like to thank NSERC, Science Literacy Week, and Halifax Public Libraries for the support of this event.

Read MoreLess

All News

Partnerships Program 2018-19
For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

Partnerships Program 2018-19

There is still time to apply for our Partnerships Program for the 2018/19 year. This program is an opportunity for community organizations in Atlantic Canada to apply for small one-year sponsorships for new activities and/or projects that promote the outreach, recruitment, and retention for girls, young women, and industry professionals in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

If you have a great idea for a new activity, conference, workshops etc. that aims to support girls and women in STEM and you and/or your organization is located in any of the Atlantic Provinces, then be sure to apply. You could receive a sponsorship of up to $3,000!

Make sure to visit the Partnerships Program page of our website for deadlines and application guidelines.

Read MoreLess
WISEatlantic Chair Invited Panelist
For: Women in SETT

WISEatlantic Chair Invited Panelist

WISEatlantic Chair, Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, was honored to participate in the Diversity in STEM: Why It Matters panel discussion at Acadia University on March 6th, 2018. Other panelists included Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, CEO of Digital Nova Scotia, Dr. Imogen Coe, Dean of Faculty of Science at Ryerson, and Denise Pothier, Vice President of Practice Services at Stantec. Special thanks to Dr. Randy Newman at Acadia for organizing this event. WISEatlantic was a proud sponsor.

Read MoreLess
Partnerships Program Successful Applicants 2017
For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

Partnerships Program Successful Applicants 2017

The WISEatlantic Partnerships Program is an opportunity for community organizations in Atlantic Canada to apply for small one-year sponsorship for new activities and/or projects that promote the outreach, recruitment, and retention of girls, young women, and industry professionals in STEM. The Partnerships Program had six applicants for 2017 and the following three were successful in receiving funds for innovative programs in 2018:

  1. In-School STEAM Workshops submitted by Education 20/20, PEI
  2. Women Scientists in Agriculture and Fishing submitted by Faculty of Agriculture – Female Leaders in Academia at Dalhousie University, Truro, NS
  3. WISE NL Speaker Series submitted by WISE NL, St. John’s, NL

Congrats to the successful applicants! The next round of submissions will open in September 2018 on our Partnerships Program page.

Read MoreLess
Driving Women Out
For: Women in SETT

Driving Women Out

Robin Durnford writes how university's reliance on contract labour is creating a hostile environment for female professors. This article sheds light on the impact of contract positions, and their ramifications for women in academia.

Read the article here.

Read MoreLess
Minister Geoff Regan visits Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal
For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

Minister Geoff Regan visits Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal

This past May, The Honorable Geoff Regan, MP for Halifax West and Speaker of the House of Commons, visited Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal's lab to learn more about her research, and the WISEatlantic program. Dr. Franz-Odendaal was later featured in his Summer 2017 constituency newsletter.

Read the article (on page two of the newsletter) here.

Read MoreLess
NSERC PromoScience Grant
For: Women in SETT

NSERC PromoScience Grant

Is promoting science your passion? Apply for an NSERC PromoScience Grant! The application deadline is September 15, 2017.

NSERC invites applications that promote the natural sciences and engineering to Canada’s young people, particularly to groups such as girls and Aboriginal peoples that are under-represented in scientific and engineering careers. Grants may be used to cover improvements to program content or delivery, as well as for new programs and activities.

To learn more, visit their website.

Read MoreLess
Gender Summit North America 2017
For: Women in SETT

Gender Summit North America 2017

From November 6 to 8, 2017, advocates of gender equality policy from science, innovation and development fields will participate in the Gender Summit North America 2017, to be held in Montréal, Canada. Those present will have the opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions under the overarching theme of "Pluralism, Ethnicity & Inclusion – Canadian Values in a Global Context."

The summit will engage individuals and communities in transformative actions on gender equity, pluralism, ethnicity, and inclusion in science and STEM, social science and health research. This is the first time a Canadian city will be hosting the Summit.

Learn more by visiting their website.

Read MoreLess
Engineers Canada 30 By 30 Campaign Update
For: Women in SETT

Engineers Canada 30 By 30 Campaign Update

Engineers Canada is working to increase the representation of women within the engineering field through its 30 by 30 initiative. This initiative has a goal of raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 percent by the year 2030.

Thirty per cent is universally held as the tipping point for sustainable change–reaching 30 by 30 will help drive the shift in the overall membership of the engineering profession as more and more women continue to enter the profession. This initiative began in 2014, new numbers from 2016 show a slight national increase but there is still much work to be done.

Click here for more information on the initiative and on the new data.

Read MoreLess
Atlantic ConnecTions Conference 2017
For: Women in SETT

Atlantic ConnecTions Conference 2017

The 2nd biennial Atlantic ConnecTions Conference took place May 3 & 4, 2017 at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS. This conference brought together over 100 women in SETT from Across Atlantic Canada to share their experiences, network, and develop action items with the goal of advancing women in SETT.

The event featured keynote speakers Vandana Juneja, Senior Director at Catalyst, and Gloria Montano, Director of WinSETT. Donna Clark of Courage Group International facilitated the open sessions of the conference. During certain parts of the conference, participants were offered parallel streams for women in technology, trades, academia, and engineering. The attendee’s were engaged, and enjoyed connecting with women in a variety of professions.

The final report from the 2017 ACT Conference is available here

Read MoreLess